Kathmandu, Nepal- One Day Trip to Chandragiri Hills
- December 29, 2019
- Sanvi Sinha
Not so busy Kathmandu
With cold and moist surroundings Kathmandu looked chaotic yet attractive in February. That touch of ancient traditions and culture, Newari architecture and food, everything was impeccable. This city could be very busy making you go struck and exhausted at times. Himalayan ranges all around the city would indulge you to the hidden destination longing inside your mind. A different world of fashion and beauty emerging from the old city could not be avoided. Helpful hands met at many points which turned out to be life-changing experiences. Fashion was unavoidable and somehow inspired from old town itself, with a glimpse of Indian and Korean touch.
How to reach?
Tribhuvan International Airport is the only International airport which is 5 kilometers from the city center of Kathmandu.
The direct train from India to Nepal is likely to run from this December. The train will run from Jayanagar in Bihar to Kurtha in Dhanusa district in Janakpur Zone of south-eastern Nepal, which is a 34 km stretch.
The bus is considered to be one of the most convenient options. However, the journey could be tiring and hell long. People often travel via cars as well by just paying toll fees and a transport permit at the time of crossing borders.
Don’t forget your valid ID proofs as it is very important at the time of crossing the border.
Journey From Patna, Bihar
My 15-hour bus journey started from Patna, Bihar. It lead us to the Raxaul border crossing to Birganj in central Nepal. I must say, it was not an easy one with all the bumpy roads and chair seating. But when you have a good company, nothing matters.
There are many hotels, homestays, and hostels which is one of the most popular means of staying. If you are here to see the whole city, Thamel is considered to be one the best option. It is the old bee of the city and is known to be in the center full of rush & authenticity. ‘Wander Thirst Hostels’ at Kaldhara marg is one cool place to stay and hang around. Staffs are friendly and helpful. Don’t miss out on early morning buses if you are planning to go Chandragiri hills to avoid the crowd. Not to forget people are very supportive and would like to direct whenever you asked for it.
When to visit?
The best time to visit Kathmandu and its nearby places is from late September to December. This place remains dry and is apt for trekking and roaming around. At this time sky appears to be clear and the mountains are magically splendid. January & February are the coldest months and tourists usually avoid visiting at this hour of season. But if you are an adventure seeker, wanna explore by yourself and most importantly enjoy winters, you must give it a try. Because some stolen views are worth to travel upon.
Places to visit in Kathmandu
There are many places that this city unfolds. Apart from the beautiful treks, traditionally and culturally rich places are worth visiting to walk around. Boudhanath Stupa, Pasupatinath Temple, Swayambunath Temple, Bhaleshwar Mahadev Temple are few of them. Durbar Square is known for its traditional architecture. This is situated in front of the royal palace where several kings have been crowned one after the other. Thamel market is one of the popular places to visit to see the hustle-bustle of the narrow lanes. It is full of architectural monuments and some amazing restaurants. You can find all types of stalls and shops nearby.
Read more about Thamel here to explore more in your next visit to Kathmandu: https://omgnepal.com/little-facts-about-thamel/
Let’s talk about my favorite of all the places which is Chandragiri Hills. I would like to talk about it in detail as it was the highlight of the whole trip.
Colorful crowd at Durbar Square
Chandragiri Hill- Must Visit
Get a glimpse of white mountains situated far away in a most gorgeous version.
Chandragiri Hill is seven kilometers from Thankot and lies on the south-west side of Kathmandu Valley which is 2551 meters above the sea level. The hill provides panoramic views of Kathmandu Valley and the Himalayan ranges from Annapurna to Everest.
Cable Car Rides or Trekking
This journey not only provides uncountable splendid views throughout but makes you wonder about the mountains situated far away. The surrounding appears to be mesmerizing and automatically gets captured within your eyes. Cable car rides are comfortable and preferred by most of the people. Trekking is another option to reach above. At the top, there is Bhaleshwar Mahadev Temple which is one of the popular pilgrimage places in Nepal. So, even the elderly people come in a larger amount to offer prayers.
Nepalese: NPR 700 Round ways
SAARC: NPR 1120 Round ways
Chinese: 15 USD Round ways
Foreigners: 22 USD Round ways
I opted for a cable car ride to go upwards and it was an amazing experience. The cable car can carry around 1000 people per hour. As a result, starting early morning is a good choice to avoid the heavy crowd.
We were excited for our mini trek and hoping to get some good company. I was along with one of my friends and we had not much idea about it. Everyone else was waiting for the cable car to go down from the top of the hill. And we were looking for someone who could take a different trail from the other side. No one came, so we started our journey while playing some self-boosting music on our handy speaker. We were enjoying our way as it was quite good with some breathtaking views around.
Things to Remember
You will keep finding different ways after certain points and a guard would direct you the further way. The paths are well made and easy to walk on. My ultimate goal was to capture as much as I can. A stoppage came by where we thought of having some noodles at a small shop serving the same. Who would have missed this chance of having it around the mountains with a very pleasant weather? Definitely, not me!
I was amazed by the view. It was owned by a man in his early fifties. I had a chat with the shop owner about the place and the awaiting adventure. It’s always advised to talk with the locals to understand more about their lifestyle and things around.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
― Lao Tzu
There were two different paths to go ahead. Our destination was on the other way where we wanted to go for our bus. We asked out some locals and unseen way turned out to be ours. It was through a small forest and nearer to our bus stand; with a village down there. Well, there was no straight or broken road or stairs clearly to be seen. We knew that this was going to be a challenging trek for us.
The ‘Road not Taken’ with strangers
This path was through the forest and seems to be unused until later on, we discovered enough plastic bottles throughout the trail. Anyway, our most unexpected journey had begun with one man in mid-40 and his two daughters of not more than 10 years old. Actually, they were sent by the shop owner who thought it would be difficult for us to go alone for the very first time. Also, they lived in the same village so were going to take that same route anyway after some time.
Our journey on the unpaved lanes in between the woods had started and we were scared somehow. Also, going with someone much unknown and whose language is completely alien giving us double thought. So we were talking in just signals and actions.
Each action has an equal and opposite reaction
I was laughing mostly, lost my balance quite a few times and started crawling to refrain any further such situations. I almost dropped my phone in the first go. You should be careful and avoid using phones while walking in such situations. Keep supporting each other or ask for help if you need one. Relax, breathe and keep taking smaller steps if you are all by yourself. The paths were not made properly and have been mostly used by the villagers. But it was not untouched but also explored by the tourists as one can say after seeing the plastics lying around.
Some stills from the trek
The paths were steeper than what we have imagined. Our feet were continuously on our toes and we were panting heavily. Our legs were shivering and we didn’t have the option of resting. Because the sun was going down eventually. But what keeps us moving was the confidence of those two little kids who were fearless and jumping like the monkeys. They were motivating us through their actions and smiles. How you take things at the worse situation is something you learn from yourself only. It teaches patience and makes your will power strong. They walked with us till we reach the village and then waved us goodbye with a broad smile on their faces. We were happy and thankful at the same time. We have completed our journey on time and was tired, happy and content.
One time is not enough
I have viewed some breathtaking beauties, scenes, smelled the wood, greens, and the air learned a lot from this mesmerizing experience. How maintaining balance at various things and also during the trek is so important. To be carefree, let go of all our doubts & regrets, and the learning list goes on.
Happiness around the mountains